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Engineer and Composites Guru Ivan M. Viest Is Dead At 89

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Ivan Viest
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Ivan M. Viest, an immigrant Slovak engineer who pioneered research in composite construction, earthquake resistance and load and resistance factor design (LRFD) of buildings and bridges, died on Feb. 11 in Bethlehem, Pa. He was 89. The cause of death was not released.

Viest's research at the University of Illinois in the 1950s led to acceptance of composite design criteria for steel bridges. Research he then championed for the National Academy of Sciences expanded the knowledge of fatigue and fracture and led to advances in LRFD use.Viest added to his body of work while a manager for Bethlehem Steel Corp. and through his own firm, IMV Consulting.

In 1972 ENR cited Viest for his contributions to industry. Other recognition came from the American Institute of Steel Construction, American Society of Civil Engineers and National Academy of Engineering. Viest was a key contributor to two widely used textbooks on composites, both published by McGraw-Hill Cos., ENR's parent.

"Ivan had a vision for the need to carry out research to advance economic and rational ways to design steel structures," Lehigh University engineering Professor Emeritus John W. Fisher told ENR.

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